find a Clinician/Physician

Study shows improvement of wound healing with noninvasive method prior to surgery

Preoperative extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) used to reduce scar formation and symptoms after surgery.

By Emilee Green | May 15, 2019

ec-russeWausau, WI (May 15, 2019) – Minimizing scar formation is important not only from an aesthetic point of view but also for functional reasons. This study looks at acoustic waves (extracorporeal shockwaves) initiated within the operation field prior to surgery and their ability to stimulate tissue regeneration which leads to wound healing with reduced scar formation.

The clinical report of this study, published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM), the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS), was selected as Editor’s Choice in the May 2019 issue of LSM.

The study, led by Elisabeth Russe, MD, is titled “Effects of Preoperative Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy on Scar Formation—A Pilot Study on 24 Subjects Undergoing Abdominoplasty Surgery”

“Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has been demonstrated as a feasible non-invasive method to improve wound healing. This effect was demonstrated to result from increased perfusion and angiogenesis due to systemic growth factors expression. We therefore hypothesized that preoperative ESWT reduces scar formation after surgery,” said Russe.

A controlled pilot study on 24 patients undergoing abdominoplasty was conducted and the efficacy of preoperative unfocused, low energy ESWT was evaluated. The right and left half of the operative area were randomly allocated to ESWT or placebo treatment in intrapatient control design. The ratings revealed a clear trend favoring ESWT. The largest differences favoring ESWT were observed in thickness and overall impression (Vancouver scar scale).

“We conclude that ESWT presumably reduces scar formation and postoperative symptoms after surgery and recommend further studies to confirm ESWT efficacy,” stated Russe.

Elisabeth Russe is a specialist in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and fellow of the European Board of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery since 2012. She works at the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at St. John´s Hospital in Salzburg, Austria, which is the teaching hospital for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery of the Paracelsus Medical University and is directed by Gottfried Wechselberger. Her main field of interest is basic clinical science related to the skin as well as peripheral nerve surgery, especially migraine surgery.

Editor’s Choice is an exclusive article published in LSM, the official journal of the ASLMS. View the complete manuscript.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is the largest multi-disciplinary professional organization, dedicated to the development and application of lasers and related technology for health care applications. ASLMS promotes excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide. ASLMS membership includes physicians and surgeons representing multiple specialties, physicists involved in product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, nurses, industry representatives and manufacturers. For more information, visit

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

Connect with ASLMS!